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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Bartlett

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Architectural Buildings, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir of Chicago, Illinois is a traditional Hindu place of worship built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, which is headed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, is a denomination of the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism. The mandir, located in the Chicago suburb of Bartlett, opened on August 8, 2004. It is built of hand-carved Italian marble and Turkish limestone. The mandir is the largest of its kind in Illinois and was constructed according to guidelines outlined in ancient Hindu texts of temple architecture. The complex spreads over 27 acres and, in addition to the mandir, includes a haveli and a small bookstore. The haveli is a cultural center in which weekly congregations are held. The mandir is open daily for worship and to visitors.Mandir and Daily RitualsThe temple, classified within traditional Hindu architecture as a ‘Shikharbadha mandir,’ has been built according to principles laid out in the Shilpa Shastras. The Shilpa Shastras are Hindu texts prescribing standards of sacred architecture. Within the mandir are different shrines, in which murtis (sacred images of Hindu deities) have been installed. The central shrine holds the murti of Swaminarayan, with Gunatitanand Swami to his left, together worshipped as Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj. Other shrines hold the murtis of Ghanshyam Maharaj, Harikrishna Maharaj, Shri Radha Krishna, Shri Shiva Parvati, Shri Sita Ram, Hanumanji, Ganapatiji and the lineage of BAPS gurus who are Swaminarayan’s spiritual successors. The murtis become worthy of worship after being imbued with the living presence of the deities. Accordingly, the Swaminarayan sadhus (Hindu monks) offer devotional worship to the deities throughout the day. The sadhus awaken the deities before dawn by singing morning hymns, called prabhatiya. Managala aarti, which is the first of five aartis, is also performed at this time. Aarti is a ritual where devotees sing the glory of God while a lighted wick is circulated before the murtis. After managala aarti, the deities are bathed and offered food and garments that vary with the season. After the murtis have been adorned with garments, shangaar aarti is performed. At midday, rajabhoga aarti is performed and food is offered to the murtis. Food that has been offered to the deities is considered sanctified, and is distributed to devotees as holy prasadam. In the evening, sandhya aarti is performed before offering food to the murtis. The sadhus put the murtis to rest by adorning them with night garments. Shayana aarti is performed at this time. Chamber doors are closed when food is being offered and when the murtis are put to rest.
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  • I was fortunate to visit this divine place one more time and I felt I am one step closer to my hometown in India. 
  • Amazing architecture. Everything is here - feast for eyes, delightful for thoughts, good food to eat, play area for kids, peaceful area to do yoga.. Very hygienic.. lot of parking.. Totally don't miss...  read more »
  • Don't visit this temple only for religious purpose. It is a piece of architectural excellence. The carved marbles, transported in pieces from India, assembled without cementing material to build the e...  read more »
  • I was pretty excited when my Comparative Religions professor asked us to conduct an observation on a religious event different from our own. I grew up driving past the BAPS temple often and was always curious to know more about it. I made a visit this morning, July 16th, 2016. Once I had found, what I believe, was the information desk, I told the young man behind the desk about the situation. Before I could finish what I was saying, he was handing me a business card. I thought, "ok, a little rude; I haven't finished talking yet. He must get students like this all the time, it must get annoying." Whatever. He told me to call the number on the business card, I assume to set a date and time. I exit the building, get in my car, and make the phone call. It sounds EXACTLY like the guy who I had just spoken to at the information desk. I thought maybe I was wrong. I told him what was going on, he hung up on me. I called again, asked to speak to someone else since he'd hung up on me, he hung up, again. I have heard great things from this temple, I'm beyond disappointed that I had the complete opposite experience.
  • They got like 7 Pokestops, I've been secretly living there for days. So many Pokeballs...
  • Very quite and beautiful temple. The art made in this temple are very intricate and beautiful. Love to visit this place when ever I go to Chicago.
  • One of the most amazing places to visit in Chicago is this temple. It consist of wonderful carving and amazing food. The temple is made without the use of any cements. All the marble blocks were like a puzzle put together to create this amazing temple. Not only that the place also has amazing food that is sold. Traditional Indian food prepared everyday is served as well. Overall its just an amazing piece of art.
  • Excellent place. Nice carvings. One of best temples in US. Staff was very friendly and ready to help. I visited for couple of hours. Planning to come again in Spring.
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